If you experience neck pain, treatment may include spinal adjustments, joint mobilization, muscle release techniques, muscle stimulation, therapeutic exercises, and lifestyle changes.
More than 20 muscles are connected in the neck. These muscles work together to help support the head’s upright position and facilitate movements of the head, neck, jaw, upper back, and shoulders.
Some causes of neck pain are:
- Poor posture
- Lifting something heavy
- Fall or collision
- Repetitive motion
A chiropractic adjustment is a form of osseous manipulation; that is, it’s a mechanical method of introducing motion into a joint that is fixated or limited in motion.
It begins with examining the joint in question, to assess for motion. When a limitation in motion is found, the joint is gently taken to tension, and motion is introduced using a fast and shallow thrust.
Two long neck muscles are at risk of neck strain causing pain. The levator scapulae and the trapezius.
Levator scapulae. This muscle travels down the side of the neck, from the top of the cervical spine to the scapula (shoulder blade). The levator scapulae play a key role in bending and rotating the neck to the side, and these movements can be hindered if the muscle is strained. Following chiropractic care and assisted muscle stretching, this simple stretch, in this video, can easily be done at home to maintain the optimal length of the muscle.
Trapezius. This kite-shaped (trapezoidal) muscle runs from the base of the skull and goes more than halfway down the back, as well as out to the shoulders. The upper trapezius muscle helps facilitate many movements, including head tilts and neck extension (looking up). Following chiropractic care and assisted muscle stretching, this is a simple stretch that can easily be done at home.
Many people have reported experiencing at least some neck pain relief and improved range of motion from having manual manipulation and/or mobilization. Study Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy
Lifestyle changes to help with neck pain:
Check your Posture – When you are sitting try to keep your head in a neutral position with ears directly above the shoulders. Take breaks and stretch often during the day if you are sitting for long periods of time or doing repetitive work.
Neck pain can make exercise more challenging but keeping active when possible is typically good for the neck.
Check with your chiropractor for safe methods of exercise and treatment for your neck pain.
Dr Natasha Hayden is a pediatric and prenatal chiropractor that is passionate about helping her community discover just how good their bodies are designed to feel, so they can do more of what they love.
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